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Obed Watershed Community Association (OWCA) is a Crossville, TN-based nonprofit with the mission to protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the watersheds of the Obed River and its tributaries within Cumberland County, TN through community education, creating opportunities for community research and service projects, and promoting conservation, recreation, and best management practices.  It also supports activities in other nearby watersheds both within Cumberland County and surrounding counties.

 all activities and upcoming Events please continue scrolling!

Highlights from July

Devil’s Breakfast Table Clean-up Makes an Impact

     Since 2007, OWCA has been doing stream clean-ups at the Devils’s Breakfast Table, a popular swimming hole and picnic area on Daddys Creek within the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.  Each year has seen a reduction in the amount of trash found.  It appears that people are less likely to leave trash where they don’t see any.  This year, on July 12th, we fit all the trash in just three large garbage bags.  Thanks to Doug Brown, Pete Peterson, Tom Cox, Charles Lusso, Denise and Roy Aquista who along with OWCA Executive Director Dennis Gregg made quick work of the clean up this year.

New Trail at Meadow Park Lake a Hit

    Carol Graska, Mary Lou and Matt Matteson, Margaret Haun, Tom Cox, Wayne Russell, Ed LeGrand, Dennis Gregg and June Zettelmeyer explored the new loop trail at Meadow Park Lake on July 17th.  The trail begins at a parking lot on the left side of the road before the water treatment plant and heads across a narrow field before entering a forested area and then descending to a cove of the lake.  It then follows the shoreline around a second small cove before heading back up hill to complete the loop.  The naturalists in the group were impressed with the diversity of plants encountered, from the meadow wildflowers to the mountain laurel and azaleas, to the shagbark hickories and a diversity of oaks.  A real treat was seeing a number of very large Spice Bushes, which occur in Cumberland County but are uncommon.

Staff Member Angela with a turtle in Centennial ParkStaff Member Angela with a Snapping Turtle in Centennial Park. 

What a (Water)Blast!

     WaterFest 2014 topped all expectations!  Not only were we blessed with perfect weather in the low 80's with a cooling breeze, but attendance doubled over last year.  See below for more details.  For many, August now marks the beginning of the school year and that signals that it’s time to return to the regular routine of work.  OWCA will be getting back to work itself with two small projects and one large one, as well as providing opportunities for learning to the community.  We’ve also begun planning for our Annual Meeting in October and our annual Run for Clean Water, also in October this year on October 18th at Cumberland Mountain State Park.  More details on both of these will be coming soon.  While we can’t guarantee that the weather won’t turn hot in August, we can guarantee that OWCA is on the move.  Come join us!



      A great time was had by all at this year’s WaterFest on July 26th.  Close to 1,000 people attended, with 226 getting into canoes, kayaks, an sit-on-tops, and 241 taking pontoon tours of the lake.  UT’s Concrete Canoe Team demonstrated their two crafts, made of concrete so full of air that it floats.  Another family brought their home-made boats made of plywood.  There were lots of friends and family that came to watch their children go out on the water, folks that just came to look around or to bring their children to the children’s activities, or who came to eat and listen to the music.  Because people came and left, it was impossible to get a complete and accurate count, but the parking area created for the event was full!

      It was a tremendous effort by lots of volunteers and many partner organizations.  The City of Crossville hosted the event and made Meadow Park Lake available as well as its pontoon (with Marlene Potter as captain), canoes, and kayak, the parking shuttle, providing police and handling advertising and promotion, and arranging for free kettle corn and ice cream.  Middle Tennessee Natural Gas’s Hometown Help and VEC’s Community Shares provided financial support for the event, along with Manchester Tank.  The Stones River Watershed Association brought a trailer full of boats and helped throughout the day.  Wade Davenport and Leisure Craft lent a pontoon boat and Vernon Potter volunteered as captain.  The Cumberland County Rescue Squad did a great job on the water providing assistance to folks that fell out of their boats.  Veolia and its local manager, Clark Annis, provided the food concession and sold out.  Cumberland Mountain State Park brought their live demonstration animals, Cumberland Habitat Conservation Plan and Wear-it Tennessee (promoting the use of life jackets) had great informational booths.  Portable toilets were provided by Tommy’s Port-a-Potty.  The Westel Baptist Church lent us their grill for the food and Meridian Baptist Church lent us tables for the children’s program. The sound stage was provided by Thom Hassler and Winkie Cagle, and there were great performances by the Emory Bluff Bank, Steep Creek, and Carrie Hassler.  Lowes, Scott Profitt Landscaping, Landscape Solutions, Cumberland Medical Center, Walmart, Flowers Bakery, and Kroger provided goods and materials for the event.

     The key to the event’s success was the volunteers.  Assisting with the water activities were Dennis Gregg, Randle Branch, Brad Fox, Kevin Fox, Merry Anderson, Matt Matteson, Annell Fields, and Denise and Ray Aquista.

   The children’s activities were headed up by Melissa Brown, who was assisted by Jennifer &  Malakia Wilbanks, Geoff Luckett, Maria Isham, Mary Lou Matteson, Rebecca  & John Walz, Ralph and Sue Kivitt and the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee – Bella Farris, Payton Farris, Jocelyn Lee, Madeline Lee, Tesla Campbell, Noelle Wilson along with their two leaders, Jana Farris and Amy Lee.  Ed LeGrand conducted a nature hike. The Boy Scouts of Troop 174 - Jake VanTrump, Jeremy Mills, Haley Fuentes, Colton Koinig, Vaughn Templeton along with their leader Toni Starling helped with parking cars and handling the life jackets.   Nicki Fox and Teresa Annis assisted Clark Annis with the food.   Overall management of Waterfest was directed by June Zettelmeyer.  Bill Morgan ran the OWCA booth.  Scott Collie assisted in setup of the event and with logistics and Cindy Cardwell and Jennifer Howard provided support to June during the event.

     Thank you to everyone who participated in making this year’s event the best ever!

A large album of photos from the event are posted at the Crossville Chronicle website:


  • Posted Sep 4, 2013, 10:10 AM by Angela Damron
  • Upcoming Activities and Event Dates - August 2014!

    August Activities

    Single Stream Recycling Tour

     Tuesday, August 5, 9:00 a.m.

    20 Maryetta Street (in the old hardware store building).  

        Kim Patterson, of the Recycling Center staff, will give us a short tour of the new single-stream recycling facility. Find out what happens after you dump your recyclables into the bins. Kim will answer questions and show us what happens when the bins arrive at the facility and how the different recyclables are sorted on their way to the manufacturer. Single-stream recycling has proved to be a boon to the community but many of us don’t know what goes on after we drop off our recyclable materials. This will be an interesting and informative tour. Please join us.

    Two Stormwater, One Stream Project to Begin

         OWCA will be working on three projects in August.  Two relate to stormwater, or what to do with extra water when it rains, and the other is a project to restore and stabilize a stream.  The first project is located at the Rescue Squad on 10th Street in Crossville.  We began the project in 2013 by removing invasive species within 25 feet of the stream and replacing them with native plants.  In winter 2014, we did some more removal, and added more plants.  Last month, the City’s Public Works went in and cleared the area on the right bank and in August they will return to remove soil in order to level that area, providing a larger area for high water to spread out instead of rising over 10th Street.  Once the excavation is complete, OWCA will come in to plant grass and mat the lower section to stabilize the area. 

         The second project involves building a new rain garden at Roane State Community College to capture the run-off from one of their large parking lots. In August with Roane State’s help, we will excavate the bottom of the rain garden and rebuild it to increase the ability of water to move into the soil. Planting of the rain garden will happen in September or October.


    The third project, and by far the largest, which will last several months, is the restoration of a tributary to the Little Obed that starts at the Genesis Road interchange.  This section has been badly eroded, creating high undercut banks as well as an over-wide channel.  On our first ever project using heavy equipment, we’ll be removing collapsing trees and reshape the bank and mat it in a number of areas, build a rock grade structure to raise the streambed back over an exposed natural gas pipeline, and then we’ll install cedar revetments in areas where the bank does not need to be reshaped.

         Volunteers are welcome on any of these projects, with the most common tasks initially being sowing grass seed and installing matting.  If you would like to help or learn more, contact Dennis at 484-9033.

    Rainbarrel Workshop

    Thursday, August 21, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

    Common Ground (405 W 4th St)

        Maybe you think we’ve made it through the summer without watering.  And maybe we have, but the next three months are traditionally the driest of the year and having some extra free water may come in handy.  Your next opportunity to get rain barrels or totes is at the end of the month.  Rain barrels are $40, $30 for OWCA members.  Totes (275 gallons) are $100.  Call Dennis at 484-9033 to sign up.

    OWCA to have Booth at Master Gardeners’ Fall Gardener’s Festival

    Tuesday, August 26th.  9 am to 3 pm.

      Plateau Experiment Station on Hwy 70N west of Crossville

        Water is one of the featured topics this year and OWCA will have a booth to talk about all that we do, but we will also have many materials about the rain gardens that we have built over the years.  It you would like to help at the booth, please call Dennis at 484-9033


    OWCA Board of Directors Meeting

    Wednesday, August 13th.  5:00 p.m.

    Common Ground 405 W 4th St

          We’ll be planning our 5K Race on October 18th at the State Park, along with our Annual Meeting in October as well as looking ahead to the future.  As discussed in the last newsletter, funding for 2015 will be considerably less than 2014, so how to proceed will be a major topic at this Board meeting as well.  All Board meetings are open to OWCA members and your ideas and energy is welcome.  It is YOUR organization, so please share your ideas whether or not you can come to the Board meeting.  Think about what YOU can do to help OWCA achieve its goals.  It’s up to all of us.  


    Coming Events

    Mark your Calendars!


        We've been planning an all-day trip to the Gray Fossil Museum in upper east Tennessee.  It is a unique treasure of an active fossil site where unearthing of fossils is continuing.  A museum was created where fossil skeletons have been assembled.  You can learn more about the museum at their web site:  If you would be interested in being part of this trip, call June Zettelmeyer at 788-5022.


    October 18th  9:00 a.m.  Cumberland Mountain State Park  5-K Run for Clean Water and Fun Run  

             Our fundraising running event will be at the Cumberland Mountain State Park.  The run will be on park roads and we should have some nice fall colors at that time as well.  The twist this year will be that we are encouraging costumes as the event will be near Halloween.  For serious runners, this will be a measured course with official timing.  We are recruiting sponsors now.

    WaterFest Website:

    Amazon Shopping Link

    Amazon’s program to help non-profits continues all year.  If you’re going to make purchases through Amazon, help OWCA by using the link:


         The OWCA Board includes Brad Fox (president) Bill Morgan (vice-president), Stephen Collie (treasurer), Melissa Brown (secretary), Bruce Anderson, and Teresa Payne. 

     OWCA sponsors are CoLinx, Manchester Tank, Stonehaus Winery, Silvara Stone, Crossville Friends Meeting, Veolia Water NA, Tennessee Heart, and Woodmen of the World. 

     OWCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.  Tax deductible contributions can be sent to OWCA, 185 Hood Dr. Crossville, TN 38555.  Dennis Gregg is the Executive Director and can be reached at 484-9033 or 210-3611.

    405 4th St

    185 Hood Dr

    Posted Aug 4, 2014, 7:28 PM by Dennis Gregg
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